Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you ~ Romans 12:3b, NIV
A famous explorer in South America was once forced to abandon his journey by an almost invisible enemy. He was equipped to meet leopards, serpents and crocodiles. They proved to be no threat, but what he had failed to consider were the tiny insects called chiggers. Chiggers are so tiny that in North America we call them the “no see-ums.”
Pride and chiggers have a lot in common. Pride comes in little ways, unseen actions, subtle thoughts or inconspicuous comments. Unguarded attitudes and random thoughts are prime breeding grounds for pride. We must take charge of those thoughts, discipline our attitudes, training our thinking processes to give up and obey God.
Pride loves to take up residence in an undisciplined thought life, changing the setting and dictating attitudes with little or no resistance. When Paul encouraged the believers in Rome to cultivate “sober judgment,” he was warning them to take charge of the mind, refusing to allow the entrance of any thoughts that would entertain pride. A disciplined thought life is the very foundation of a victorious journey with God.
Many of us attempt to find worth and identity in what we do – not who we are. As a result, our actions are intended to draw the attention of anyone and everyone in a vain effort to establish self-worth. There may be people in your life who are difficult to love. Our responsibility is to love and accept these difficult people without insisting they change or counting on them to change. In order to do that, we must choose grace and humility over pride and censure. Pride vanishes beneath the loving gaze of our Father who simply longs for each one of us to see ourselves through His eyes – no more and no less.
The frontline of battle against pride is the mind. We are in a war for the control of the mind. Paul recognized that truth and urges us on in the battle, “We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NASB). To take something captive is a military tactic that we would do well to employ, because the harsh reality is that when it comes to our thought life. we are in a great battle – especially when dealing with pride.
Sometimes it seems as if pride can actually crawl into my mind and grab hold of any undisciplined thoughts floating around. Pride then flings those random thoughts into my heart as an attitude laced with burning arrogance. We can change our lives by changing how we think. We can dictate the attitudes of our heart by fixing our thoughts on God and His truth. The result is peace, which stands against pride, electing humility instead. “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, whose thoughts are fixed on You” (Isaiah 26:3). What does it mean to “fix” our thoughts? Webster’s Dictionary defines “fixed” as “rigid, solid or firm.” We must learn to fix our thoughts on the truth of God’s word. We need to be rigid in controlling our thought processes, holding firm to God’s standard for the mind. The result will be a stable way of thinking and living. To prevent pride requires a choice to take charge of our mind.
I once dated a young man I thought was “the one.” For some reason, my mother did not like him. Knowing her daughter very well, my mother said nothing, but I am sure she was on her knees pleading with God to take that young man out of my life. He did. We eventually broke up and my mother finally explained why she had a problem with this young man. “If I could buy him for what he’s worth and sell him for what he thinks he is worth, I would be a millionaire!” Mama did have a way with words. She was so right! Today, that man is out of ministry, divorced and living a life that is unpleasing to God. His pride robbed him of the best God had for him.
Don’t let that happen to you. Run from anyone or anything that promotes a prideful attitude. Eliminate the strongholds of pride in your life. Nail your ego to the cross and declare it powerless. Celebrate the trophy of grace you are in God.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!